As we are standing here on the other side of the freeze, still dressed in PJ's, eyes half-open, to say that we were not prepared for this is an understatement!
We felt good last night around 8 pm as our chickens had snuggled into their coop with a heater, they were happily chirping themselves to sleep. We turned up the heat in the barns and it was nicely holding at 85F. Chris and I had picked up Sushi earlier that day and after feasting were tucked in cozily into our Recliners doing what we generally do at night, gaming and Netflix. For the next 2 hours, we were happily hunkered down ready to face the freeze.
Aaaand that is where that idyllic scene ended and the night to come began. At 10pm we noticed temperatures dropping in the barn. We were still low 80's so we decided to keep an eye on it. By 1 am we were in the mid-'70s, by 3 am our sensor push alarms went off that it had hit that dreaded 70 F mark. Mind you at this point we were on edge and hadn't even made it into bed yet. Chris bundled up, went outside, and added additional heaters to our already running heating system and after noticing the temps going back up, we went to bed. At 6 am the alarms went on again and Chris noticed that the elements on the outside unit were freezing up!
We adjusted the inside fan speeds a bit and things seem to stabilize after that. Now if we could only address the humidity issue I think we'd be in decent shape!
This week was a mess, to put it bluntly. We could have never guessed we were going to have to deal with this much cold air and in spite of insulating our barns all year, a hard FREEZE is something we didn't count on and it's a learning curb for sure.
Unfortunately, last week during the first cold spell we did face a significant loss of Small, Medium, and Adult winged roaches. Our large size was not bothered by the temperature changes. We'll need to keep the two smaller sizes out of the store for a bit in order to replenish those again. If you have a standing subscription for those sizes, please don't worry, we have you covered and you will continue to receive your shipments.
Over the past 3 years, we've faced all kinds of challenges as a small business. We survived a die-off in year one of our barns - pesticides lessons learned the hard way. We're making it through COVID and had to adjust to the new normal of doing business. We tackled shipping issues, food issues, breeding issues, had to learn what types of animals that may invade our barns (below see an image taken from our Microscope of a really cool Red Flour Beetle we found in one of our bins. Six months ago we ordered a few roaches to introduce new DNA to our strain and they have been sequestered the entire time in their own bin, which is where we found the beetle. Thankfully that is the only bin we found it in because we sequestered these to assure no diseases or anything would creep up. The Red Flour Bettles are harmless, not a threat to our Roaches, but a bit annoying to have so we made sure it and all traces of it got removed), and as we grow and sustain, I am sure there will be a lot more challenges to face.
Through it all, you guys have been incredible. You've been our customers, friends, support system and above all, the people we are dedicated to making happy with every order. We even wrote a whole post about this last year, and if you're feeling nostalgic, do check it out.
We want to again thank you from the bottom of our heart! Without you, we would not even be here!
Mel & Chris